Friday, April 30, 2010

Six Weeks from Sunday. . .

Time. It's a funny thing. We waste it, pass it, bide it. Heck, sometimes we even KILL it.

Often, time seems long. When you're eight and waiting for Christmas. At work, when it's only 2:30 PM. Other times, it flies. When you're out with friends and suddenly its 2:30 AM. When you turn 40 and realize according to most actuary table, your life is HALF OVER.


But, FM and I tend to measure time differently. We refer to years by which country we were living in. Which, in our little universe, makes last year pretty much wasted time. And, although I can say I was in Macedonia, Croatia, Peru, Arizona and Vegas (and FM can add Mexico and Columbia), it still feels like we were home most of '09. And we WERE.

Now, It's been a year and a half since Beijing. Three years since Hong Kong. Five years since Rome. Seven years since Chad (shudder). Ten years since we were married.


Which means I've been married for 25% of my life. Have known FM for 37.5% (of course, his stats are different, he's only been married for 17.8%, known me for 25%. He started late. . . heehee).

And last year? That wasted year? I was able to reunionize with people I haven't seen in HALF OF MY LIFE. Talk about time flying by. . .

The stats themselves are not important or impressive, just a reminder of how fast time elapses.

In the words of William Shakespeare, "Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow, Creeps in this petty pace of day to day."

Petty pace? Often I muse upon the ways I spend my days. Is it a waste of time to do the things we enjoy? Is reading a book a waste of time? Does it depend on what you are reading? When DOES it become a waste of time? When you are doing it instead of something else? Is Facebooking (is that a verb?) a waste of time? Watching television? Sitting on the beach? Taking a walk? What if I decide to not even leave the house? It can assume a petty pace, but tomorrows always beckon.

But, eventually we run out of tomorrow. Sometimes suddenly. Or the people we love cannot count another day.

The passage of time just feels sad. Not only in what it physically does to us, but in the lost seconds, hours, days and years we can never respend.

How do we live in the moment? How do you pass the time? What makes your time "worthwhile"? Being paid? Helping others? Enjoying yourself? All three?

I've been pondering this concept of time. The only conclusion I have discovered is, even if I have a hard time filling it, I want more than what I have coming.

This Sunday, we'll have been in Montevideo for six weeks. A relatively short period of time, but a chunk of my life that has figuratively flown by. And, I kind of want it back to relive and enjoy again. Yet, I also look forward to the next six weeks. And the next.

Time. It's such a conundrum.

Men talk of killing time, while time quietly kills them. - Dion Boucicault.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

It's a WHAT?

One of the pitfalls of our kind of travel is adjusting to the "norm" in every country.

After three weeks in Montevideo, we finally found an apartment, had our cable television and WiFi installed, procured a coffee maker that, however slow, does produce drinkable coffee every morning and possess a "fully equipped" kitchen. So I can cook. And save a couple dollars. You know how I like to do that (save money, not cook)!

Our landlord, Daniel, is a very helpful guy who's English is about as good as my Spanish. We correspond via email using Google Translator, which can make for some very hilarious conversations. I got an email from him the other day regarding an extra key on my ring that said, "don't worry, the garage is undrinkable". I still haven't figured that one out. But, good to know, I guess!

But, my first day here I decided I would make some tuna salad. I started searching through the cupboards looking for a can opener. I saw this rusty, nasty THING and figured it was a broken can opener piece. So, I emailed Daniel and asked him to bring me a can opener. He emailed me back saying, there are two there. Hmmmmmm.

He arrived later that afternoon to bring our WiFi router, and I asked him to show me the can opener. He pulled this apparatus out (see above pic. I KNOW. It doesn't look like a can opener). Instead of admitting I'm an idiot and don't know how to use it, I just nodded and hoped FM had seen something like this before.

Turns out he had (it must be VERY old - LOL), and he proceeded to show me how to use it. It's not that easy. And very antiquated. But, it does open a can. Eventually. (FYI - I looked at the local supermarket for an upgrade, you know - like the one that's in YOUR drawer at home? $25. For $25 I can BITE open a can.)

Point being, traveling for extended periods of time makes you into a fairly adaptable person.

Or a person who just wants to go home. I'm opting for adaptation.

Other issues I'm struggling with:

  • WHY WHY WHY do we not have hot water in our KITCHEN. Seriously.
  • Our brand new updated bathroom shower? Dribbles water on you like an camel spitting.
  • I so hate not having a clothes dryer. Kirsten has one. NO FAIR.
  • That empty lot next door to our building? Never thought about it two weeks ago. It's now a CONSTRUCTION SIGHT. And the dudes showed up at 6:45 AM this morning. So peaceful.
  • Can't find feta cheese, an integral part of my diet.
BUT. The wine is fine, the steaks are always on the BBQ (this whole town smells like a BK - in a good way), the beer is lovely and every night I get to watch the sunset off my balcony.

I guess I can struggle with canned goods for a couple months.